All articles in 'Learn Excel' Category

Best of – 2013

Published on Dec 31, 2013 in blogging, Learn Excel
Best of – 2013

This year has been busiest year since inception of Wow, that is 10 years in a row of breaking previous records.

We had 101 posts, 7,400+ comments this year. Since our forum went thru a migration, I could not gather exact stats for forum. We have trained more than 2,500 people thru my online classes – Excel School, VBA Classes & Power Pivot classes.

More than 7.5 million people visited our site in last 1 year (up 14%) and consumed a whopping 20 million pages (up 16%). Each of these visitors spent an average of 2 minutes 21 seconds on our site becoming awesome in Excel. There are 1.8 million people who spent at least 15 minutes on our site.

We have added more than 25,000 members to our newsletter / RSS reader community, crossing 80,000 mark. It is a busy year.

Read on to find the best of in 2013.

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What areas of Excel scare you most? [survey]

Published on Nov 1, 2013 in Learn Excel
What areas of Excel scare you most? [survey]

Yesterday was Halloween. To our readers who are not familiar with it, ‘Halloween is a colorful festival with lots of costumes, scary stories, theme parties and trick-or-treating, celebrated on 31st October, every year.” I have never celebrated Halloween as it is an unknown tradition in India where I live. But that is no excuse. Especially when the celebration calls for colorful clothes, scary themed houses and shrieking kids.

Of course, we are not going to have a traditional Halloween. Because,

  • At our house, we use pumpkins to make sambar, not lights
  • The only ones with costumes in our house are my kids.
  • If I send my kids for trick or treat, they will get neither.

So that brings us to the only part of Halloween that I can celebrate. Telling scary stories.

So lets talk about the stuff that scares us. But bear in mind that I am not interested in that time when you & your cousin went camping and stumbled in to an abandoned log cabin to discover the …Save it for real Halloween.

We want to talk stuff that scares you in Excel of course.

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The VLOOKUP book is ready, pick up your copy today & Become Awesome

Published on Oct 30, 2013 in Learn Excel

the-vlookup-book-ebookHi folks,

What a night it has been. Unlike hi-fi product launches for a new perfume or car, my book launch did not have hot models or unlimited champagne. And yet, last 18 hours has been an intense and lovely experience. And finally,

My book is out.

You can purchase a copy thru Amazon or our website.

Go ahead and get your copy today.

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I am writing a book [and its coming soon]

Published on Oct 23, 2013 in Learn Excel

Keen readers of would have noticed a slow down in new posts recently. There are a few reasons for that.

  • I went to Malaysia to conduct Excel Dashboards & Power Pivot masterclass.
  • After coming back, we (our family) went to Goa to vacation for a few days.
  • When we got back, we all fell in to a vicious loop of flu, body pains and fatigue.
  • And it took a few days to recover and fall back in to routine.
  • But the most important reason is, I am writing a book 🙂

Introducing The Vlookup Book

Friends, readers & supporters of,

I am very glad to announce my newest book – the vlookup book to help you become awesome in answering any lookup related question.

Click here to get your copy.

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PowerPivot – the ULTIMATE anti-bloat feature

Published on Oct 1, 2013 in Learn Excel, Posts by Jeff, Power Pivot

Howdy again, folks. Jeff Weir here, borrowing the keys to the blog off Chandoo again. (Hopefully I don’t scratch it again). How remiss of me…jacob reminded me in the comments of my previous BLOATED post on good spreadsheet anti-bloat practices that I completely missed one of Excel’s newest and most efficient anti-bloat features: PowerPivot. So […]

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What are best Excel interview questions? [survey]

Published on Sep 27, 2013 in interviews, Learn Excel

Hello folks…

Time for a fun & useful survey. This time lets talk about Excel Interview Questions.

Many of you are silently becoming awesome in Excel, data analysis, charting, dashboard reporting, VBA, Power Pivot and business skills, thanks to all the time you spend on I am sure there will be a day in near future, when you have to face another interview and be selected for a challenging, fun & high paying role.

Likewise, there is also a significant portion of you who are too good in your job that you will become a senior manager, VP or CXO, or better still start your own business. When the tables have turned, you will be the one looking for smart, dedicated, talented and fun individuals to join your team and make you look even more awesome.

So my question for both prospective interviewees and wannabe Excel pros,

According to you, what are the best Excel interview questions?

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7 reasons why you should get cozy with INDEX()

Published on Sep 18, 2013 in Learn Excel
7 reasons why you should get cozy with INDEX()

Today lets get cozy. Lets start a fling (a very long one). Lets do something that will make you smart, happy and relaxed.

Don’t get any naughty ideas. I am talking about INDEX() formula.


Of all the hundreds of formulas & thousands of features in Excel, INDEX() would rank somewhere in the top 5 for me. It is a versatile, powerful, simple & smart formula. Although it looks plain, it can make huge changes to the way you analyze data, calculate numbers and present them. It is so important that, whenever I teach (live or online), I usually dedicate 25% of teaching time to INDEX().

Enough build up. Lets get cozy with INDEX.

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Excel Links for you – Busy busy edition

Published on Jul 30, 2013 in excel links
Excel Links for you – Busy busy edition

As the launch date for our 2nd batch of Power Pivot class nears, my plate looks fuller than ever. Fine tuning the course details, preparing our online classroom for new batch of students and coordinating with Rob for video recording etc.

But I wanted to take a few mins today and share with you some really useful Excel tricks, ideas and examples from web. I found these really useful and inspiring. I am sure you will learn from these links as much as I learned.

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What do you use Tables for? [poll]

Published on Jul 3, 2013 in Learn Excel

What do you use Excel Tables for?

I will go first, I use them for,

1) Maintaining all my raw data, so that I can use structural references
2) Maintaining various trackers, for example I am tracking all our expenses in USA in a table.
3) For quick formatting of data (zebra lining, filters, sorting etc.)

What about you? What kinds of data are you holding in tables and how are you using them. Please share using comments

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5 Keyboard shortcuts for writing better formulas

Published on Jun 27, 2013 in Learn Excel
5 Keyboard shortcuts for writing better formulas

As an analyst (or manager), I bet a good portion of your Excel time is spent writing formulas and getting the results.

So today, let us learn 5 important keyboard shortcuts that will save you a lot of time and help you write better formulas.

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Introduction to Structural References

Published on Jun 26, 2013 in Learn Excel

Ever seen a formula like =SUMIFS(Sheet1!B2:B3923, Sheet1!C2:C3923, A1, Sheet1!D2:D3923, A2) and wondered what it is really doing?!?

If so, you are not alone.

Formulas written with cell references tend to look complicated and clunky. What if we could write formulas in plain English?

That is what Structural References do. When using structural references in formulas, your focus will be on your data, not on which cell ranges the data takes up.

For example, you can write formulas like these:
1) SUM(mySales[no. of customers]) to find how many customers we had.
2) SUMIFS(mySales[no. of customers], mySales[product], “FastCar”) to find how many customers bought “FastCar”

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A quick Excel tip while on bike…

Published on Jun 10, 2013 in Learn Excel

As you may know, I am in USA and having a lot of fun exploring new areas, meeting people and conducting live classes. While all of this is enjoyable, I am also feeling guilty because I am unable to squeeze time to share Excel tips on the blog.

So to make it up to you, I recorded this short video (2 mins) with an Excel tip while bicycling in beautiful Euclid Creek Reservation in Cleveland on Friday. Watch it below.

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Excel Links – from USA edition

Published on May 8, 2013 in excel links

Hello there,

My travel to US was fantastic and fun. Many thanks to Jocelyn & Rob Collie, who found a nice apartment for us and made sure we are settled down in almost no time. Weather has been excellent so far too with lots of sunshine and blue skies. We went to a nearby park the other day and kids really loved walking on trials and exploring.

Gentle reminder

Today is last day to sign-up for my USA Masterclass

Today is last day to join my USA Advanced Excel & Dashboards masterclass with early bird discount. If you live near Chicago, Washington DC or Columbus and love style of teaching, then you will benefit alot from my masterclass. We have very few spots left in Chicago & Columbus. So go ahead and book yours today and save $200.

Click here to know more and join us.

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Learn Top 10 Excel Features

Published on Apr 16, 2013 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel, Power Pivot, VBA Macros
Learn Top 10 Excel Features

Last week, we had a lovely poll on what are your favorite features of Excel? More than 120 people responded to it with various answers. So I did what any data analyst worth his salt would do,

I analyzed the data and here are the top 10 features in Excel according to you.

Read on to learn more.

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How to create interactive calendar to highlight events & appointments [Tutorial]

Published on Apr 9, 2013 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel, VBA Macros
How to create interactive calendar to highlight events & appointments [Tutorial]

One of the popular uses of Excel is to maintain a list of events, appointments or other calendar related stuff. While Excel shines easily when you want to log this data, it has no quick way to visualize this information. But we can use little creativity, conditional formatting, few formulas & 3 lines of VBA code to create a slick, interactive calendar in Excel. Today, lets understand how to do this.

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